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Career Profile: Phlebotomists

Draw blood for tests, transfusions, donations, or research. May explain the procedure to patients and assist in the recovery of patients with adverse reactions.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 129,600 people employed as phlebotomists in the United States. The median annual salary is $36,300. Entry level employees earn approximately $26,690 per year and senior employees earn approximately $50,740 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Match laboratory requisition forms to specimen tubes.
  • Dispose of blood or other biohazard fluids or tissue, in accordance with applicable laws, standards, or policies.
  • Dispose of contaminated sharps, in accordance with applicable laws, standards, and policies.
  • Conduct standards tests, such as blood alcohol, blood culture, oral glucose tolerance, glucose screening, blood smears, or peak and trough drug levels tests.
  • Collect specimens at specific time intervals for tests, such as those assessing therapeutic drug levels.
  • Process blood or other fluid samples for further analysis by other medical professionals.
  • Provide sample analysis results to physicians to assist diagnosis.
  • Enter patient, specimen, insurance, or billing information into computer.
  • Document route of specimens from collection to laboratory analysis and diagnosis.
  • Draw blood from capillaries by dermal puncture, such as heel or finger stick methods.
  • Conduct hemoglobin tests to ensure donor iron levels are normal.
  • Transport specimens or fluid samples from collection sites to laboratories.
  • Organize or clean blood-drawing trays, ensuring that all instruments are sterile and all needles, syringes, or related items are of first-time use.
  • Draw blood from veins by vacuum tube, syringe, or butterfly venipuncture methods.
  • Calibrate or maintain machines, such as those used for plasma collection.
  • Serve refreshments to donors to ensure absorption of sugar into their systems.
  • Collect fluid or tissue samples, using appropriate collection procedures.
  • Explain fluid or tissue collection procedures to patients.
  • Train other medical personnel in phlebotomy or laboratory techniques.
  • Perform saline flushes or dispense anticoagulant drugs, such as Heparin, through intravenous (IV) lines, in accordance with licensing restrictions and under the direction of a medical doctor.
  • Administer subcutaneous or intramuscular injects, in accordance with licensing restrictions.
  • Draw blood from arteries, using arterial collection techniques.
  • Monitor blood or plasma donors during and after procedures to ensure health, safety, and comfort.
  • Determine donor suitability, according to interview results, vital signs, and medical history.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
129,600
Annual Openings:
19,500
Increase in Openings by 2030:
22%
Annual Salary Range:
$26,690 - $50,740
Education Requirements:
Some college